Why are we always trying to cheer everyone up? We seek good cheer during holidays. We wish, ‘cheers’ in hopes of special occasions. Some cultures use, ‘cheers!’ as a good intentioned sign off in email.
Do we have an internal wish for positive emotions for all, all the time? Or, are we reflecting on our own desire for positive feelings with those we came into contact with? Are we comfortable with those who are seemingly not overtly cheerful?
It’s certainly more pleasant to be around cheerful people. Engagement is more enjoyable when cheerful others work with us. We navigate life with more awareness when we’re also feeling cheerful.
Some of us have a higher set point for joy than others. I think about the importance of feeling primarily happy in times of turmoil. I think about my own set point, or genetic predisposition for a cheerful outlook, and I wonder about what contributed to my rather cranky disposition.
Nature vs. nurture.
I am by nature a pretty happy person. But, I’m also highly sensitive to the emotions of others. Social media brings me down or lifts me up, depending on the day. Those of us trained in psychology, and as is my case, the healing arts, have rather unanimously noticed how the negativity on social media negatively effects our sense of well-being.
Many are not even aware of our emotions, or the driving force of them.
Unless, we make an effort to consciously choose to view our perspective to one of a positive outlook.
We can’t easily achieve this while also surrounding ourselves with those who enjoy being miserable. We can’t be the one always cheering everyone else up either.
the CHEERful helper?
I once was in a business situation where a great deal of the hard work was on me. The stability of the business depended on my ability to also coddle, entertain, and flatter the co-owner.
It was exhausting. At the end, I felt like a shell of a human. All of my efforts went into making sure that the other person had total freedom, while I put myself in a cage of their emotions. Avoidance? Yes. While giving away all of my time, I exhausted myself, losing all ability to feel cheerful. Ironically, once I was fully defeated, the business partner decided to leave me because I wasn’t fun anymore!
Once they left, I allowed the healing to organically reshape my world. I distinctly remember the moment I felt cheerful again. It was a light switch I didn’t realize was turned off.
It was such a foreign feeling, I didn’t even recognize it in myself. Until I did.
Today, my cheerful disposition is different than it was before. I’ve changed. I have emotional scars that reshaped my happiness, but happy is what I am. Now. It’s more subdued. More poignant. More mindful and appreciative.
To understand our good cheer, or Scrooge like attitude is entirely in our hands. Use it or lose it. Both cheer me up at the very thought of holding that sort of power over myself.
About the Author: Karen Henry [Daly], MA CRM owns Henry Healing as a holistic well-being practitioner and writer. She’s a former university professor and current scholar practicing the infusion of positive, existential and community psychology.